FROM 2-16. Hobart-Sydney

Past The ‘Gong

For the meeters and greeters – 1100 this morning at South Head looks pretty much do-able. We'll be on VHF 72 and my mobile is 0418243600 – look for the Fastnet battle flag on the forestay and the hoist of all the other flags up the backstay. The Fastnet flag is almost as big as all the rest put together. The Mark of Sponsorship!

Night vision. The west a lively organism, the east Stygian and a sharp dividing line fore and aft. Dawn's flush a just a statistical probability. The long string of lights that is the coast road north from Wollongong with its little villages, brilliant against the black silhouette of the scarp behind and the slight silver-grey glow of the sky above – the sky ruffled like the underside of a woolly rug – little tufty balls of cloud all tightly curled together and reflecting the white loom of the lights of Sydney ahead. The jewelled chain of the coast road disappearing just ahead as it climbs the scarp to Stanwell Tops and then just the black line of the scarp merging into the point in the distance where sea, scarp and Sydney fuse and the Sydney glow and its reflection from the water fill our horizon. The Southern Cross and its pointers – Crux, Rigilkent, Hadar visible in a hazy gap above the mainsail. Another star, perhaps Antares, in a tiny gap over the scarp. A big cargo ship a mile or so out to sea waiting to go into Port Kembla, its lights cutting the gloom to the east and reflecting in coloured lines towards us on the rolling glassy surface. Phosphorescence – separate green sparkles rushing past in the surf of Berri's bow wave and the coiled luminous trail of her passage through the water astern. And now the cloud opening everywhere and letting the stars through – the lights at Sutherland and Cronulla and Kurnell just appearing at the meeting place of the sea and the sky and the reflections ahead. I'm going to miss all this!

So – anyone have any suggestions about how to make all this waffly nonsense available in a more conventional form? There's a book in draft about the first circumnavigation but I think there's perhaps a wider story. Do you think an edited version of the Complete Works of Berri – all three website blogs with incoming emails included and a few linking fillers, lots of maps and a glossary – would actually work as a book? Gerzillions of photos and lots of video available as well. I hope we can organise a video of the full story but it will take time and a lot of help from our friends. Likewise, perhaps, a book of the photos? Albatross calendars perhaps, a desk diary with daily quotes? The Complete Works would be quite substantial – perhaps 400+ pages with some fairly savage editing. Or just a coffee table book of pictures and little grabs? I'd love some bright ideas from all y'all out there who experienced these gigs from the other side of the looking glass.

Interesting Fact no. 42 from Malcom – Cook might have seen a camel as they had been some in zoos and menageries in Europe since the 13th century. Dromedary, though, implies knowledge of Bactrian as well, or perhaps all available camels were single humpers called Dromedaries, if that makes sense. Else just Mt. Camel? Anyway, thanks Malcom! Food for speculation.

If the wind is kind later, we'll sail around the corner.

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